I'm astounded at the level of ignorance people numbly accept. Never have we lived in an age with so much knowledge and data so easily accessible, yet we want very little of it. For hundreds of years--no, for thousands of years, education was the coveted goal of nearly all people. To learn to read? Have … Continue reading There is always hope and options; bizarrely, we don’t seem to want them.
“You’re disappointed in me,” Pere concluded. “Well, it won’t be the last time, I’m sure. Being a commander, or even an adult, doesn’t mean we know always what’s right. We have to trust the nudges to do what we believe is right. And I think as long as you try to do the right … Continue reading Remaining in the background when things aren’t right isn’t right at all (Sneak peek into the prequel)
One of my favorite writings assignments I give my 10th graders is the "Optimism, Gratitude, and Grit" write-up. We're reading a holocaust memoir, and we talk about the qualities the survivors had in common: 1) the ability to maintain hope and optimism; 2) a feeling of gratitude, no matter the circumstances; and 3) grit and … Continue reading Optimism, Gratitude, and Grit can together defeat fear
When the incomparable composer John Williams was shown a cut of "Schindler's List," and Steven Spielberg asked to him to compose the score, Williams was so moved that he humbly said, "You need a better composer." To which Spielberg replied, "I know, but they're all dead." Spielberg himself had put off directing the movie for … Continue reading “I’m not good enough.” “No, you’re not. But there’s no one else to do it.”
My 6-year-old tried to play chess with me at their school’s STEM night last week. I didn’t realize he knew the rules, and it turns out he doesn’t, because he produced a secret weapon: a 6-legged spider he’d made out of clay in his class earlier. “This is spider-guy,” he announced. “And he can eat … Continue reading They can keep changing the rules, but we don’t have to be obedient. (Plus 3 sneak peeks into Book 8)
I didn’t realize until I was older that we had a weird tradition in our house. It was mandatory that when a canning jar popped, no matter what part of the house my mother was in, she’d shout, “Thank you!” If she wasn’t home, that duty fell to me, and I didn’t always want to … Continue reading Two logical reasons why I bizarrely thank canning jars . . . and everything else
There are revolutions happening all around us in America, but we don't always recognize them. But once we do, we realize we can be part of them. If we dare. Most of these revolutions arise from breaking with the status quo of our ancestors. And not just talking about change, but actually being part of … Continue reading America’s the land of revolutions; let’s start another one!
I hate guns. They terrify me. They kill, indiscriminately, even in the hands of the most skilled and trained users. I hate their shape, their noise, and the smell of the cleaning agents. My neighborhood is filled with gun-lovers. Hunters, cops, concealed-weapon holders—I’m surrounded by them. I wish I knew who stored loaded handguns in … Continue reading I hate guns, but there’s something I hate even more (A pacifist’s confession)
Recently a mother of an autistic son in the Salt Lake Valley found the following stickers on her car around her Autistic Child sign: What caught my eye, however, was this sticker. Exactly what’s this supposed to mean? It means that the perpetrator is embarrassingly ignorant, on many levels. Ignorant of autism. Ignorant of appropriate … Continue reading Excuse me, but your ignorance is showing
I understand that, not being a native southerner, my opinion about the Confederate flag likely isn’t worth a slice of pecan pie. I was told by the Wal-Mart greeter, when I first moved to rural Virginia, that I was a “Yankee.” There was a slight sneer in her accent when she didn’t hear any drawling … Continue reading The South Deserves Better than the Confederate Flag